Dr. Michael Hathaway is an associate professor of cultural anthropology at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, BC), with a PhD from the University of Michigan. Since the mid-1990s, he has been studying the emergence of environmentalism in Southwest China. His first book, Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China (University of California Press, 2013), seeks to understand how environmentalism was refashioned in China, not only by conservationists, but also by rural villagers and even animals, such as China’s last herd of wild elephants. His second major project examines the global commodity chain of one of the world’s most expensive mushrooms, following it from the highlands of the Tibetan Plateau to the markets of urban Japan.He explores the role of nonhuman agencies such as the mushroom itself and the insects that seek it out, in shaping the tempo and dynamics of the more than half million Chinese who harvest it from the mountains, trade in this mushroom, and send it to Japan.
Keynote speech title: The Emergence of Global Environmentalism in China